Monday, August 8, 2011
Truth or Dare
When we are young, childhood games keep us company in the hot summer months absent from school. Sleepover between neighboring girls was common we would gather in a friends bedroom lock the door and proceed to transform into movie stars and gossips girls, barrowing our mom’s latest issue of Cosmo we answer the imposable questions of our youth, with a round of Truth or Dare.
This game alone help to educate each of us with its simple mission of answering the asked a pond question truthfully or daring to act out a chosen task.
Becoming an adult a round of Truth or Dare takes on a more series tone, answers become harder to define and consequences become life altering.
The information before us clouds our reality and the outside world becomes more than we can handle. Nine to five, dinner, chores, soccer games and homework routinely becomes a way of life and the misshaped lives on the ten o’clock news sinks to the bottom of our agenda.
It’s during the holidays that we are reminded by sunken face children to weak to stand their clothes mismatched and dirty sitting on a grass matt waiting for our hard earned money to reach their hungry bellies, that we toss a few coins in the red bucket on our way to buy Jonny yet another interactive electronic to occupied his already inactive body.
Let’s play a game shall we TRUTH OR DARE, but let’s change it up a bit.
I will tell you the Truth and after reading a small bit of reality, I will Dare you to take action, if you have what it takes to play YOU will be accomplishing a genuine feat of humanity.
This is a portion of a post written by Senior Foreign Affairs Reporter Laura Rozen on Aug 5, 2011
Senior Foreign Affairs Reporter
PostsEmailRSSBy Laura Rozen | The Envoy – Fri, Aug 5, 2011
Somalia is experiencing the worst famine the world has witnessed in a generation, the result of the region's worst drought in 60 years. The UN estimates that a quarter of the Somali population is now displaced—some 1.5 million people—and more than 10 million are in immediate need of food assistance or face starvation.
The demands are urgent, and getting adequate assistance to the region in time has been tough.
The Lookout asked experts on the area and the crisis for answers—and how you can help today.
Q: How did such a severe famine evolve ?
A: Three factors have caused the Somalia famine to be so severe, aid experts say: severe drought, severe lack of governance and severe poverty.
First, the Horn of Africa has experienced two seasons of unprecedented drought conditions. Second, there's been a total breakdown in governance in Somalia over the course of a civil war dating back more than 20 years. Third, people are already extremely impoverished. And the three circumstances are perilously interconnected.
"You have not had a government in Somalia for 22 years," Oxfam's Shannon Scribner told The Envoy. "There's a civil war. People suffer from extreme poverty. When you add in the worst drought in 60 years, people don't have any assets to cope... They don't have food reserves. They don't have livestock. When the livestock dies, they don't have much left."
Q: How many people are affected by the famine?
A: The State Department estimates that 11.5 million people in the Horn of Africa are in need of emergency assistance or face starvation.
In addition, more than 800,000 Somalis have already fled to refugee camps in neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia. An estimated 1.5 million Somalis—a quarter of the population—are currently displaced from their homes, the aid coalition group Interaction says.
Some 9,000 new Somali refugees are fleeing to Kenya every week, and another 3,000 Somali refugees per week are entering Ethiopia, Oxfam's Scribner said.
U.S. officials warn refugee flows could rise. "We have heard troubling reports from inside Somalia that the combined daily arrival rates of 3,200 new refugees in Ethiopia and Kenya could rise still more dramatically as the situation in Somalia grows increasingly desperate," Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ruben Brigerty for Population, Refugees and Migration told journalists at a special State Department briefing on the crisis last week.
Q: Was the Somalia famine preventable? How did it develop such severity and why wasn't the world better prepared for it?
A: In short, we should have been able to pre-empt this famine, or at least head off its severity, aid experts say.
"In the 21st century we shouldn't be experiencing famines on earth. These are preventable,
The U.S. and UN had good early warning information about the conditions on the ground related to food security and climate, aid experts said. For instance, it knew that there had been a fall drought and that a spring drought, if it occurred, would put millions of people at risk.
But problematic relationships with governments in the region—from Somalia to Ethiopia—contributed to the lack of sufficient preparation for a response.
"What you're looking at is a perfect storm: a humanitarian disaster compounded by political complexities, conflict and insecurity throughout the region," said Sarah Margon, a former Senate staffer who specializes in Africa, currently at the Center for American Progress. International aid groups that "don't have viable partners in Eritrea, Somalia and parts of Ethiopia are under serious risk, and the Ethiopian regime is becoming increasingly [autocratic]. The combination of all these sectors make a natural disaster response doubly difficult."
Q: How can private citizens help?
A: Individual cash donations offer far greater flexibility and speed than governmental assistance—which comes with restrictions—to aid groups operating on the ground.
"In the fluid environment of where we are trying to help and help rapidly, the quickest and most effective way to provide a doctor to provide supplementary feeding or a blanket, are private donations," said Worthington. "Resources from governments, including our own, while needed, tend to be more directed." Funds raised from the public, he said, allow aid groups on the ground "to go, 'Hey, this is not a medical case, but let's provide nutritional feeding here,' or 'This camp here needs to be moved.' It removes all of the layers of constraint."
Q: How responsive has the public been so far to the Somali famine?
A: There's been something of a lag in public response, aid groups say, perhaps in part because the media have not had much of a presence in Somalia.
"We are not seeing the level of public response that we would like to see, "The response clearly picks up as the images get out there. But it's not a place where the cameras are rolling. Where stories of how a family lost four of children get on the nightly news. Because of this—because of the difficulty of access, it's a little bit removed still. We hope that will eventually change with time and that the deep compassion we see in the American people, that is part of us, will be triggered to provide the resources."
Q: How can you help?
A: Interaction has a list of its members providing relief assistance in the Horn of Africa here:
I Dare you not to buy those French fries with that sandwhich, to put that money towards one of the above group HELPING to SAVE a life. I dare you to tell your facebook friends, Tweet,and your co-workers.
Then I DARE you to pass it on, do you have what it takes to question a friend about thier spending habits?
I dare you to spend $10.00 dollars and change your life.
Posted by Rain Valentine